Description: Erect leafy annuals or perennials, often with prop roots. Ligule membranous.
Inflorescence axillary, compound, of 2 racemes separated by a prophyll, 1 sessile and female, the other pedunculate and male, subtended by a bony utricle. Female raceme enclosed within the utricle, reduced to 1 sessile spikelet and 2 pedicels. Sessile spikelet female, with membranous glumes and lower floret reduced to a lemma. Pedicels free, stout, with or without vestigial spikelets. Male raceme projecting from mouth of utricle, the spikelets in pairs or triplets. Lower glume papery, laterally winged. Both florets usually male.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 6 species, Europe & Asia. Australia: 2 species (1 species naturalized, 1 species native), Qld, N.S.W., W.A.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & C. A. Wall
|One species in NSW: Coix lachryma-jobi|